Conference by Julia Nentwich (University of St.Gallen)
"Scientific excellence" and "gender equality" have been on the political agenda for more than a decade now. We have ample evidence of the existence of gender bias in academic selection procedures. Furthermore, what counts as "scientific excellence" has been criticized as inherently problematic. The "ideal researcher" at work in many disciplines still seems to be white, male, without family responsibilities and ready to sacrifice his entire self to the "greedy occupation" of academia. At the same time, the emphasis on excellence has encouraged the adoption of formal procedures and transparency and hence may also have contributed to the advancement of gender equality. In her talk Prof. Julia Nentwich will explore the different ways in which "gender" and "scientific excellence" meet in 12 qualitative interviews conducted with gender equality experts and/or members of decision-making bodies in Swiss higher education institutions. Based on a discourse analysis, she identifies the different consequences of the discursive interplay between gender and academic excellence.